Embryo donation is an exciting new option in modern infertility treatment offered at our Sandy, Utah Infertility Clinic. While most patients would initially prefer to have children using their own eggs or sperm, due to numerous factors beyond their control many patients find that this is not possible.
For cases where both partners have significant fertility factors decreasing their chances for conception, this is a wonderful alternative in addition to traditional adoption. We make this technology possible for local patients and our infertility clinic also serves Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
Many patients consider the use of a donor embryo a very early adoption. A good example of an ideal situation would be when the male has no sperm (azoospermia) due to lack of sperm production (sertoli cell only syndrome, testicular cancer, chemotherapy, etc) and the female has poor egg quality is poor due to advancing reproductive age or premature menopause. Some patients prefer the use of a donor embryo over the use of donor sperm or donor eggs.
Prior to the initiation of donor embryo programs, traditional adoption was the only option for this patient. Donor embryo allows the patient to experience the wonder and joy of pregnancy, labor and delivery while carefully controlling the pregnancy environment (taking prenatal vitamins, good diet, avoiding alcohol, tobacco or unnecessary drugs).
A frequently asked questions is, “Where do donor embryos come from?” Donated embryos can come from a variety of sources. Most frequently other infertile women who have undergone IVF treatment and achieved the family of their desired size chose to donate embryos rather than have them discarded.
Patients who chose to donate find that this is more difficult and time-consuming option for compared to discarding the embryos. They must provide extensive information regarding their personal and family medical and genetic information. They must also provide updated infectious disease testing such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
If they have not been testing previously, they are asked to undergo testing for ethnic specific genetic risks such as cystic fibrosis for caucasian and sickle cell disease for african americans. Regretfully, some embryos need to be eliminated from donation due to infectious or significant genetic disease risk issues.
Patients are not paid for their embryos but some may receive compensation for their time and efforts in completing the required screening process. Patients who donate tend to want to help others who are going through the same often-frustrating process that they went through.
Embryos that are donated have been frozen at the time of the initial fresh IVF cycle. They could have been stored for several months or even several years depending on the circumstances. Most programs encourage patients not to donate extra embryos until after the baby has been delivered and is doing well. Many prefer to wait until the child is 1-2 years old before making the decision to donate. Patients usually incur storage charges during this time.
Pregnancy rates using donated embryos are highly dependent on the age (at the time of the egg retrieval) of the woman who donated the eggs, the quality of the donated embryos, and the number of embryos that the recipient is willing to transfer. In general, the younger the age of the donating woman, the higher the pregnancy rate. The higher the quality of the embryos based on embryology scoring systems, the higher the pregnancy rate.
Frequently patients will choose to transfer between 2 and 3 thawed donated embryos. Typically pregnancy implantation rates between 5-15% per embryo transferred or 30% per embryo transfer can be expected. Finding donated embryos Once the decision is made to use donated embryos, the first step is to find embryos that would be acceptable.
Like many other infertility centers, the Reproductive Care Center has a list of our currently available donated embryos but most programs also have a waiting list of patients who are interested in the donated embryos. We encourage patients to contact other agencies to determine if they have embryos that could be used.